If, after his 1993 CD debut, there were any questions about who Michael Hakanson-Stacy is and what he stands for, they are answered in no uncertain terms upon listening to his follow-up album, Lion's in the Den. He is an incredibly adept acoustic guitarist with a preference for the resonator and bottleneck types. He takes his songwriting and playing cues from the old-timey blues, folk and gospel giants like Muddy Waters, Blind Willie Johnson and Rev. Gary Davis, as well as contemporaries like John Fahey and Peter Case. Despite the wealth of material those artists have given us, Hakanson-Stacy prefers to write his own material. Like Bottle on my Finger. . .Blues to my Toes the lion's share of songs on this album are originals with nods to those other artists. And of his own compositions Hakanson-Stacy seems particularly gifted at the gentler, more tuneful folk pieces like "Where Would I Be?" a confessional love song, and "Letter of the Law," a piece rejecting legalism -- an original which sounds like The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan-era Dylan.
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